With the rain belting down all weekend any plans I had for gardening were put on the long finger. I planned to do some work on the Raspberry cage. So far, I have only grown autumn fruiting Raspberries. I cut back the canes to ground level a few weeks ago. However, last summer, I didn’t keep on top of suckers and wanted to remove as many as possible before the growing season. There was a break from the rain yesterday afternoon for about an hour and I decided to start. The ground was heavy and mucky. It was so cold I was almost glad when it started to rain again and to come inside. That’s one big job that’s still ahead of me. The ground will need to be cleared of all weeds also.

I have all my roses pruned, but that’s a job that needs to be done soon if not already done. St. Patrick’s Day was often known as the last date that roses can be pruned. I haven’t yet given the roses a slow fertiliser but should do so very shortly.

It wasn’t a wasted weekend. There were jobs that could be done indoors.
I put the seed potatoes in egg boxes for chitting indoors in front of a bright window. I will plant 4/5 seed potatoes in the greenhouse mid-March for earlier new potatoes. I bought these from Quickcrop for the last few years. What I love is that they sell trial packs of many different varieties. We have loved trying a few of these and seeing what new varieties we like and how they store etc. Our favourite variety last year for flavour and storage was Vivaldi. This is a 2nd early potato which stored so well and we ate the last of them only 2 weeks ago. The service and quality provided by Quickcrop is excellent. I Also bought onion and shallots sets from them. I put the onions and shallots in seed trays and will put them on the staging in the greenhouse next week. I did this last year and found it gave them a head start when I put them ground mid-March early April.

I also set my seeds today for lots of vegetables. I always do in small pots because of our heavy soil. I am late with Sweet Peas but they will come on fine, if a little later. I had thought I would sow some seeds last Autumn, but never got around to it. The dahlias have been taken from storage and are in the greenhouse. I will keep the Begonias indoors until the leaves are strong and then they can join the Dahlias. Both will go in the ground about May, depending on the weather.

So, all in all I got some things done which will leave me free to get back to the Raspberries and the many other jobs to be done this month once the weather takes up again. March is a busy month in the garden. Perennials need to be divided, summer flowering bulbs gladioli, lilies, croc Osmia etc need to be planted. Borders need feeding with chicken manure or something similar and compost or well-rotted manure needs to be dug in to the beds. It’s important to keep on top of the weeds. Dead head snowdrops, daffodils and early tulips but leave the foliage to die back naturally. Cut away any dead branches, shrubs and trees. Don’t forget to check fruit trees. We had a marvellous month of February and there is evidence of that with magnolias, camellias and cherry blossoms in bloom. The hellebores have given so much pleasure since Christmas.

As I look outside it is raining so hard it almost looks like sleet. From where I sit writing this the only pleasure is looking out the patio door at my barrow. My friend Kathleen had this made for me for my daughter’s wedding a few years ago. I wanted a display of flowers outside that looked a bit different and natural. I had ordered a barrow on line but hadn’t checked its dimensions. It was so small and was useless. She very kindly surprised me by having this one made. The wheel is made from a very large bamboo. It was exactly what I had hoped for and it looked stunning on the wedding day and has given us so such pleasure through seasons since then. This was definitely a present that keeps on giving.